Voci dal Sud A Journey to Southern Italy with Carlo Levi and His "Christ Stopped at Eboli" Daniela Bartalesi-Graf

Publication date:
19 Oct 2010
Yale University Press
448 pages: 254 x 178 x 21mm
31 b-w photos, 14 maps & charts; 12 color in 8-page insert
Sales territories:

This textbook for intermediate to advanced level Italian courses employs an interdisciplinary approach to explore the culture of the southern Italian region from 1935 to the present.  It is structured around Carlo Levi, a 20th century writer, painter and social activist, and it includes excerpts from his classic novel, Christ Stopped at Eboli. Historical and cultural information that pertain to the novel and images of Levi’s paintings are interwoven to encourage students to connect literature, art, and film in ways that are designed to sharpen their critical thinking skills, as well as their language skills.

Daniela Bartalesi-Graf is a Lecturer in Italian in the Department of Italian Studies at Wellesley College.

"This book is an advanced-level, Italian-language textbook based on the literary and visual artistic work of Carlo Levi, namely, that associated with his acclaimed novel, Christ Stopped at Eboli, and his ten-month exile to the southern Italian region of Basilicata (also known as Lucania) during the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini. . . . This book makes a valuable contribution for all advanced students of Italian in that it presents another side to the story of Italy’s history and development, namely that of its southern region. This is especially important given the large percentage of Southern Italians who immigrated to America at the end of the nineteenth-early twentieth century, a theme also treated in the book."—John Ryan, University of Northern Colorado, eLanguage

"What makes [Voci dal Sud] particularly innovative is its interdisciplinary character in which language, history, literature, art, cinema and culture provide students with a complete picture of Italy, its language and culture.

Voci dal Sud is a versatile text, suitable for literature courses, as well as culture courses: the volume offers instructors the choice to follow a literary or a cultural path, or both, while learning Italian as a second language along the way. . . . The text can be read as a history of the “Southern question” from its birth till today, but also as a re-evaluation of the contribution of Southern Italy to the literary and artistic development of the entire nation.

Voci dal Sud is a complete volume, adaptable to different teaching and learning methodologies (visual, audio, etc.). It’s highly recommended as a text for the teacher tired of the traditional mono-disciplinary books we have grown accustomed to, and ready to tackle new cultural and social themes. Indeed, the volume turns away from major Italian cultural centers such as Rome, Florence, Turin, etc., and rather concentrates on the rural reality of Aliano, a small village where Carlo Levi was exiled; Aliano represents the rural reality of all Italy, not only of the Basilicata region.

Finally, Voci dal Sud provides instructors with an interdisciplinary approach that allows students to develop and exercise critical thinking through the parallels it draws between film, literature and art."—Christine Sansalone, Laurentian University, Quaderni di italianistica

"Voci dal Sud is exemplary in the care given to the pedagogical structure, in the abundance of didactical instruments (the volume also includes several maps, a comparative chronological table, a bibliography and a detailed index), and in the innovative use of web technology to integrate additional material. . . . The extreme richness of texts and pedagogical resources necessarily requires the instructor to make a choice. Thanks to the variety of materials and the diversity of approaches and activities available, instructors can easily adopt the book for literature courses as well as cultural studies courses. The additional readings in the Appendix, moreover, allow readers to listen to voices other than Levi’s. With her book, Bartalesi-Graf continues the legacy left by Levi, a writer who gave voice to the reality of the “many Souths” of the world, by inviting undergraduate students to listen to it."—Giovanna Faleschini Lerner, Franklin & Marshall College, Annali di Italianistica